Working toward fiscal responsibility

The debacle that the previous Congress created by not passing a budget for Fiscal Year 2011 shows all of us how important it is to follow deadlines and to move a final product out of Committee. The lack of a FY 2011 Budget has lead to uncertainty for job creators and agencies that are looking to plan for the next year. 

The only bright spot is that this has allowed the House to make cuts to spending in an attempt to keep borrowing below the debt ceiling. This experience of passing Continuing Resolutions multiple times a year has proven the importance of spending cuts and that it is possible to work toward fiscal responsibility.

In the coming weeks the committee will write the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget. This will be an exhausting process of setting funding levels for the Federal Government, going line by line and finding where cuts need to be made. It will be important to review all levels of government to ensure that duplication and redundancy are removed from the budget. 

There are too many agencies using tax dollars inefficiently by overlapping programs where other agencies or levels of government have more success. Defense and non-Defense spending will have to be trimmed and the annual allotments cleaned up, there are not any programs, agencies or departments that will be immune from necessary cuts.

Lowering spending on programs is not a popular proposition and cutting agencies is uncharted territory, but our Country is now in a place where there may be no other answer.

From the Department of Education to Farm Subsidies large cuts are needed. This is the time to review responsibilities and determine which are federal and which are for the states. Education funding and oversight should be controlled at the state level, the closer to the people the better. 

Other programs not unlike portions of the Farm Subsidy program should be brought in line with the actual need and updated for current and future needs. To maintain a steady food price there is a need for a safety net; however, this does not include mandatory yearly allowances that can be balanced by other less expensive programs, such as crop insurance.

The current position of the country and the future outlook of the deficit show that any budget presented to Congress will have to control future spending. It is of the utmost importance that the promise of the American Dream remains at the heart of America.  

Our children and grandchildren should not have to fix the problems of today; we should rise above the rhetoric and make the hard decisions especially if they are not popular. The Federal Government cannot continue down this path of borrowing and deficit spending. Now is the time to repair the damage and place America onto the path of recovery.

Fiscal Year 2012 budget reform will be a long drawn out process in committee and on the floor of the US House. Each Member of Congress must understand that we are elected to make hard decisions and we are expected to make America better tomorrow than it is today. For too long we have not made the tough decisions and we cannot ask our children to fix that which we choose to ignore.

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